Skip to main content
article atm-icon bar bell bio cancel-o cancel ch-icon crisis-color crisis cs-icon doc-icon down-angle down-arrow-o down-triangle download email-small email external facebook googleplus hamburger image-icon info-o info instagram left-angle-o left-angle left-arrow-2 left-arrow linkedin loader menu minus-o pdf-icon pencil photography pinterest play-icon plus-o press right-angle-o right-angle right-arrow-o right-arrow right-diag-arrow rss search tags time twitter up-arrow-o videos

Suggested Content

Cartagena, Colombia: Saving Lives by Promoting Maternal and Child Health

  • May 6, 2011

Ten years ago, the infant mortality rate in Cartagena, Colombia was a dangerously high 48 deaths per 1,000 live births — twice the national level – with adolescent mothers suffering in particular .

A successful Neonatal Care and Adolescent Mothers Program, supported by AmeriCares, helped reverse this alarming trend, making a crucial difference in the lives of Cartagena’s young women and children.

The programs, established by the Fundación Juan Felipe Gomez Escobar, aimed to expand maternal and infant health services at its Medical Center and reduce mortality for this vulnerable population.  

AmeriCares sends significant shipments of critical medicines including antibiotics, drugs to prevent harmful extended labor, pain relievers, topical ointments, and needed medical supplies to the Fundación in support of their efforts. 

Lifesaving Goal, Life-Changing Impact

Premature babies and newborns in need of specialized critical care are now seen at the Neonatal Care Unit. Highlights over the past six years:

  • An estimated 2,300 infant lives have been saved.
  • Perinatal mortality declined steeply thanks to programs like this one that provide critical services immediately after birth.
  • Overall infant mortality in Cartagena has fallen by nearly 50 percent — to 25 deaths per 1,000 live births, a rate close to the national level.
Young mothers and babies benefit from donated childcare supplies and educational baby-care workshops. Photo courtesy of Fundación Juan Felipe Gomez Escobar.

Photo courtesy of Fundación Juan Felipe Gomez Escobar.

Young mothers and babies benefit from donated childcare supplies and educational baby-care workshops.

Young mothers participating in the Adolescent Mothers Program are well-taken care of, receiving complete prenatal care and support during pregnancy. The program ensures that young moms-to-be give birth in a hospital, benefit from regular postnatal care, and have access to:

  • A vital support system: Courses in infant care are available to mothers before and after their babies are born, giving young women a sense of what motherhood will entail and creating a vital support system for them to rely upon.
  • Skills training: Technical training workshops and educational support empower new mothers with skills to help support themselves and their babies for years to come.
  • Childcare products:  AmeriCares sends shipments of diapers and toddler briefs, as well as formula for malnourished children and for mothers who cannot breastfeed.  These products reduce financial strain on young mothers and encourage them to return for pediatric visits and attend regular skill-building and baby-care workshops.

AmeriCares donations help the Medical Center, which provides 13,000 patient visits annually, meet its immedate needs and allows the Fundación to channel its resources more effectively to support these successful programs.

Donate Now